Trump Discovers California's Homelessness Crisis, Will Absolutely Make It Worse

Illustration for article titled Trump Discovers Californias Homelessness Crisis, Will Absolutely Make It Worse
Photo: Carolyn Kaster (AP)

The Trump administration is considering destroying homeless encampments in California and moving residents to new “facilities,” officials told the Washington Post Tuesday. A delegation of White House officials are on a “fact-finding” trip in Los Angeles this week, CNN reported.


While elected officials in California are absolutely failing at addressing the crisis on their own, you also can’t exactly blame them for not wanting this particular power to intervene.


Sounds like more incarceration for the poorest, most vulnerable people, one of the Trump administration’s favorite types of cruelty. This horrible new pet project can potentially be traced back to the president’s friends at Fox News:

California politicians made their misgivings clear. Nathan Click, a spokesperson for Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, said: “[Trump] could start by ending his plans to cut food stamps, gut health care for low-income people, and scare immigrant families from accessing government services.”

“I don’t know what they’re doing. I’ll believe it when I see it. Nobody has contacted us,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “You think I know what’s going on in his (Trump’s) head?”


It should be stressed that it’s not as if these politicians are doing a good job themselves. According to an NBC Bay Area investigation, for instance, the number of homeless people in San Francisco has increased dramatically since Breed became mayor.

White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement: “In June, the President took action and signed an Executive Order to confront the regulatory barriers to affordable housing development, a leading cause of homelessness. President Trump has directed his team to go further and develop a range of policy options for consideration to deal with this tragedy.”


It shouldn’t take too much to end homelessness given the wealth that exists in California. Really all you need is fair taxes, an abundance of affordable housing, and the decriminalization of drug use, mental illness, and vagrancy.

It turns out that policies that treat poor people’s existence like a nuisance rather than with dignity, such as cleaning up sewage on the street rather than providing public bathrooms, are pretty expensive. And normal apartments with doors are definitely cheaper to build than whatever this bunk bed monstrosity cost to build, which, horrifyingly, lets you rent a bed for $1,000 to $1,400 a month:


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